Rhode Island Overview
New England’s smallest state – Rhode Island is a hidden gem. The state features the picturesque cities of Providence and Newport, rocky cliffs, broad sandy beaches, historic colonial and Revolutionary War sites, excellent shopping and many miles of hiking and bike trails.
Rhode Island is not an island as its name suggests, it is dotted with lovely islets and beaches. This tiny State is home to an astounding 400 miles of coastline, which have earned it the nickname of the Ocean State. The beach communities of Bristol and Narrangansett have been named top destinations for their beautiful beaches offering great amenities for all.
Rhode Island has an array of riches when it comes to food and culinary adventure with delicious events like restaurant weeks, foodie tours, tastings and festivals celebrating their fabulous seafood taking place throughout the state all year long as well as lots of fun and family friendly fairs.
Immerse yourself in the opulence of the Gilded Age in which magnificent mansions were considered “summer cottages” and where the rich and famous families enjoyed their summer months. In Newport you can also venture on a tour of its famed Ocean Drive or Cliff Walk, where you can find castles and palaces perched along the rugged New England coastline.
Must See Places in Rhode Island
The Breakers, Newport
Newport’s most celebrated – and showiest – Gilded Age mansion was built by Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1895 and reflects the unimaginable wealth of the Vanderbilt family. The Italian Renaissance “summer cottage” has 70 rooms, including a grand three-story dining room, and was built using imported French and Italian marble and alabaster.
Cliff Walk, Newport
The pathway runs along the rocky shore and provides walkers with views of breakers crashing on the rocks below as well as the mansions’ gardens and sea-facing facades above, and is one of the most popular – and free – things to do in Newport.
The four-acre Waterplace Park and Riverwalk border the Woonasquatucket River as it winds through Downcity, Providence. Several times during the spring, summer, and fall, the city celebrates this river, which until late in the 20th century, was completely covered by roadways. More than 100 bonfires are lit in large iron pans in the river’s center and kept blazing throughout the evening as residents and tourists stroll along the brick riverside walkways and footbridges.
Narragansett Bay Beaches
If long stretches of fine white sand beckon you, head for the towns of Narragansett and South Kingstown, south of Providence, to find a string of public beaches on the protected waters of Narragansett Bay.